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OpenDNS and Windows Home Server

March 31st, 2008

opendns typo correct I had to use the Restore feature on Windows Home Server a few months ago and had issues connecting the restore PC to the Home Server.  My resolution at the time was to unplug my Wireless Router from the WAN side.  I’ve actually figured out what the problem was awhile ago but never blogged about the resolution.

I use OpenDNS for name resolution at home (great service, I recommend it highly) for faster DNS resolution when using the internet.  However, OpenDNS has a feature called Typo Correction that tries to reconcile URLs or DNS names that don’t resolve immediately.  Because of Windows Home Server’s reliance on NetBIOS to find machines inside your network, it uses not fully qualified names (so ServerName, instead of Servername.domain.com) inside your LAN to find machines.  OpenDNS’s typo correction feature ends up intercepting these requests (during DNS resolution) and it “breaks” the way Home Server works inside your LAN.

Simple resolution:  disable the Typo Correction feature of OpenDNS (click on the picture above).  You have to have an OpenDNS account setup (free) and also identify yourself to your home IP (mine changes as Comcast doesn’t give me a static IP).  I use DirectUpdate to update OpenDNS on my current home IP address to ensure continuity.

In any case, I’m back to using OpenDNS and not having issues accessing my Home Server directly on my LAN.

Links:  OpenDNS, DirectUpdate

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